ROLE OF LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS IN LIFELONG LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Abstract

Author(s): Kas?m KARAMAN

Globalisation and change processes related to globalisation have had an impact on many areas including the meaning and function of the concept of knowledge. Particularly developments in the Information and Communication Technologies have fundamentally changed the traditional knowledge perception. The fact that already acquired knowledge fall short against continuously renewed and reproduced knowledge has resulted in change how people approach learning. People started learning continuously. This process, named as "lifelong learning", has become one of the main approaches in educational policies. Many countries in the world have been developing various strategies and set targets for lifelong learning. Lifelong learning policies of Turkey have been shaped in response to Turkey's membership process to the European Union. In this respect, in the fundamental level, lifelong learning strategies are about strengthing the relationship between educational system and employment policies. Lifelong learning activities are run not only by schools but also NGOs, local administrations and private organisations. Local administrations (municipalities) have undertaken important responsibilities in lifelong learning activities taking place in Turkey. The local administrations run many courses in centres that are easily accessible and for free. They do not only include vocational courses but also personal development courses such as language, computer, handicraft, and child care courses. The importance of local administrations in providing lifelong learning could be seen even better when we consider the fact that participants of the courses run by the administrations usually come from disadvantaged backgrounds including women, migrants, disabled and young people. This study, based on the literature, focus on lifelong learning activities run by local administrations in Turkey. In this respect, in the case of KAYMEK, organised and run by Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, the lifelong learning activities that are provided to disadvantaged groups particularly to women will be evaluated. According to the results, local administrations have had a very important function in lifelong learning activities taking place in Turkey. Those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds including women, young people, migrants and disabled people appear to be attending these activities in large proportions. KAYMEK courses were started to be provided in the year of 2005-2006 with 374 attendees in Kayseri. It has now reached 15 centres and 8002 trainees in the year of 2014-2015. The majority of trainees are women that are considered to be amongst disadvantaged groups. Moreover, other disadvantaged groups, disabled, migrants and young people, attend the trainings. The range of trainings in terms of the subject is usually limited to basic education and vocational training.

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